The Union Government on Thursday emphasized that it is consistently and proactively working to secure and enhance the availability of vaccines.
In a statement the Union Health Ministry said, "Government of India, as part of its policy to augment the domestic production of Covid-19 vaccine, has proactively encouraged Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as well as private companies to enter into technology transfer agreements with Indian vaccine manufacturers."
The statement pointed out that two Central Government PSUs, namely, Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) and BIBCOL have entered into a technology transfer agreement with Bharat Biotech. In addition one state government undertaking, Haffkine Institute, has also entered into a technology transfer agreement with Bharat Biotech.
As a result of this proactive intervention of the Central Government, Indian Immunologicals Limited will be in a position to start production of Covaxin from September 2021, while Haffkine Institute and BIBCOL will start production of Covaxin from November 2021.
"Government of India presently is also engaged in proactive dialogue with Bharat Biotech and some other PSUs, as well as private companies to execute technology transfer agreements. This would further enhance and augment the production of Covaxin in the country," the Government said.
Under the new policy, doses of imported and ready to use foreign vaccines will be available for state governments, private hospitals and hospitals of industrial establishments. The new Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy also incentivizes, in terms of prices, to attract private manufacturers including offshore vaccine manufacturers to enter the country.
The Government is proactively engaging with foreign vaccine manufacturers like Moderna, Pfizer etc., to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in India so that these vaccines can be easily imported and made available in the country. Simultaneously, the Government along with other like-minded countries is also stressing on IPR waiver for the Covid-19 vaccines.
These two interventions, taken in conjunction, will ensure easy availability of Covid-19 vaccines not only in India but globally too.
Denying a media report, the Government said, "There have been reports in a section of the media followed by some uninformed tweets alleging delay in licensing for Covaxin and delayed approval for technology transfer for manufacturing Covaxin vaccine in the country. These news reports and the content mentioned in the tweet are completely baseless and factually incorrect."
The Government mentioned that its new liberalized strategy has made specific provisions that vaccines for Covid-19, which have been developed and are being manufactured in foreign countries and which have been granted emergency use authorization by National Regulators of United States, European Medicine Agency (EU), United Kingdom, Japan or which are listed in WHO (Emergency Use Listing), will be granted emergency use approval in India.
The Government claimed that this will ease and facilitate the import of Covid-19 vaccines and ensure their increased availability in India.
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